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Saturday October 29, 2016

Hope you'll join us, at Wells Hall. Singles, couples, first-timers, and experienced dancers; All are Welcome. No partner needed; Alcohol and smoke-free; Workshop for newcomers (see below.) We have a great time, dancers, caller, and musicians too! Sponsored by the Seattle Folklore Society. It being two days before Halloween, costumes might be appropriate, though of course that is a personal choice.

ERIC CURL will teach and call the dances. His effective low-key dance teaching, long experience, and repertoire adaptable to any dance crowd, have made him a favorite at dances in South Sound, Seattle, and throughout the Northwest. I've danced to him many times, especially in Tacoma and Olympia, and I've enjoyed myself every time. You just can't go wrong, dancing to Eric's calling

THE BAND, as is the tradition here at the Fifth Saturday Dance, brings together the contra repertoire of the Northeast along with tunes from the our own region. We call our contra tune repertoire Northwest and Yankee music.

Fiddler Stuart Williams is a scholar and documenter of our region's traditional music as a member of the Washington Old Time Fiddlers Association (WOTFA) and teaches at their summer instructional week. He was a member of Pleasures of Home, the band that founded the Fifth Saturday dance. Interestingly his first experience with contra dancing and music was being dragged off to a dance back east in the early-mid 1970's, put on by the Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra (CCDO - see %% below).

Fiddler Catherine Graham, a recent graduate of Pacific Lutheran in Tacoma beginning her second year of teaching in Spanaway, is one of the region's most promising young fiddlers. A student and "session" attendee of the Washington Old Time Fiddlers for about a decade, she has played this dance several times (including this past July 30) as a member of Small Pleasures, and has an amazing ability to pick up style and new repertoire.

Melodeon Player Phil Katz was a founder of the initial Saturday contradance series in Puget Sound (the Salmonberry 2nd Saturday dance begun in Seattle's University Friends' Meeting House in 1980.) Interestingly he got his start playing for contras sitting in with the CCDO, a few years after Stuart did.

Joe Micheals' talent runs both broad and deep. He will be providing us solid rhythm guitar backup, as he has for several excellent Northwest contra dance bands, including mighty Red Crow . And ou may also remember him as the fine caller for the recent Fifth Saturday dance on July 30.

Our band will play "close to the dance and the dancers", choosing our tunes to match the dance chosen by the caller, and our styling to support the dancers as each dance evolves. It is a pleasure to play for our friends out on the dance floor. Personally I (Phil K) can look out from the stage and recognize dancers I've been playing for since 1979 or 80.

Specifics on the Event:

The Fifth Saturday Contra Dance will be held at Christ Church Wells Hall, 310 North K Street, Tacoma - directions below. It is well-known as one of the sweetest halls in Puget Sound. (Note: It's the same location as the Tacoma Contra Dance that's usually held on Third Saturdays.)

The dance will run from 8:00 - 11:00 pm. The cost is $9.00, with a $2.00 discount for 18 down and 65 up. As always, a 10% discount will be available to Seattle Folklore Society members who request it.

There will be a newcomers' intro-lesson at 7:30 pm. Contra dancing is "not rocket science", and by the third dance, anyone looking out over the crowd will likely be unable to tell who just learned that evening! Eric Curl is easy to learn from, in terms of his knowledge, his considerate manner, and his easy charm. We are proud of the tradition of asking newcomers and visitors to dance, and looking after them on the dance floor. (Experienced dancers often bring friends they've been wanting to introduce to contra dancing, and help out by dancing in the mini-lesson.)

OK a few notices . . .

Please avoid wearing scented products (e.g. perfume, aftershave, cologne, scented hand lotion) to the Fifth Saturday Contra Dance. (Dancing, being aerobic, magnifies their scent, and also the effect of the solvents used therein!) Some dancers are hypersensitive or allergic to such products.

A word about children's attendance: It is fine for older children and teenagers who are comfortable interacting with adults on their own. However, it is not appropriate for small children unless they are on the sidelines supervised by adults at all times.

A caution on parking: The street right across from the hall has been posted as a "residents only" zone, so please don't park there - tickets have been given. There is plenty of parking on adjacent streets, and there are spots behind the church as well.

Directions to Wells Hall   

310 North "K" Street, Tacoma

From Seattle, "Eastside" of Lake Washington, or Des Moines

I-5 south to exit 133 (Tacoma City Center). Then take I-705 and the Schuster Parkway exit on the right (still called I-705). From there again stay right and take the Stadium Way (first) exit from Schuster Pkwy. At the top of the exit ramp, turn right. The street goes up hill. Follow it til it ends, then swing left onto North 1st. You pass Stadium Thriftway and a Chevrolet lot, and then merge into Division at a traffic light. Continue on Division, turn right onto North "K". Wells Hall is the second building on the left. Enter the dance through the church courtyard.

From Olympia

Take Interstate 5 to Tacoma, Use the right 2 lanes to take exit 132 toward S 38th St (Route 16-Gig Harbor exit), which is quite a bit south of the center of Tacoma. Head for Route 16 (skipping the actual S 38th St exit); then once in the curving freeway ramp from I-5 into Route 16, keep your eyes peeled for the immediate first exit (1A) from Route 16; to Sprague Avenue. Once on S Sprague Ave at street level, you're heading north; pass lights at 19th and 12th (or 11th) until you come to multi-way light at 6th. Take the soft right into Division (not the sharp right into 6th). Follow Division to the light at North "K" Street and take a left. Wells Hall is the second building on the left.

From West of the Narrows Bridge

Follow Rt 16 across the Narrows Bridge. Take exit 1A for Sprague Ave. Once on S Sprague Ave at street level, you're heading north; pass lights at 19th and 12th (?? or 11th) until you come to multi-way light at 6th. Take the soft right into Division (not the sharp right into 6th). Follow Division to the light at North "K" Street and take a left. Wells Hall is the second building on the left.

For more information please contact:
Phil Katz - - 206 722 8228.
(you know what to do with the ZZZ)

%% Would you believe it, a genuine footnote: The CCDO is still in business, now a multi-generational outfit led by Dudley and Jacqueline Laufman, and composed of surviving band "originals" from the 1970's and 80's, their offspring and their students. A truly amazing number of today's 'names' in contradance playing got their starts dancing to and/or sitting in with, the CCDO. In honor of Dudley's 85th birthday, Jacqueline organized a reunion CD of the CCDO. You can read about them and their recording at . It is one heckuva recording; you can get 'em from Dudley and Jacqueline, or I've got a half dozen for sale.

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Last modified 09/22/16.